>> Amazon says it's U-turning on the decision to block Australians from its US site, just in time for Black Friday. The so-called geo-block was in place since July, and would redirect Australians to a local version of its US site, then came backlash. Shoppers complained of being funnelled into the Australian Amazon, which only had a tenth of the products on offer.
Amazon said it was only trying to comply with the new Australian tax, a 10% duty on some imported online goods. The controversy turnished Amazon's rollout in Australia. And now says it's resolved the tax snag, but not without raising questions, says Reuters' Tom Westbrook, from Sydney.>> Amazon said this was necessary in order that it collects the tax properly, and send it to the government.
But a lot of people thought it was also about funneling customers on to their Australian website. Where it charges sellers fees to register, and was really about driving their Australian business.>> When Amazon's Australian site launched last year, it triggered a steep selldown in traditional retail stocks as the country braced for an online frenzy.
But on top of criticisms that there were fewer things to buy, customers also complained of higher prices.>> After a year in Australia, Amazon hasn't really set the world on fire or made the deep impact on bricks and mortar retailers. But that said, Amazon is a huge company that's here for the long term.
And these are probably gonna be seen as early speed bumps in the long run.>> While the site is letting Australians back in, there's still a catch. A company spokesman told Reuters, only Amazon's products can be shipped over from the US. For now, anything sold by a third parties will be out of reach.